Saturday, 28 January 2023

halt—who comes there? (10. 506)

Via Strange Company, we are directed towards the Gentle Author’s visit to the Tower of London and privileged to accompany her taking part in the oldest, unbroken military ceremony in the world, a nightly vigil that has taken place through war and plague for over seven centuries, “The Ceremony of the Keys” executed faithfully by the Yeoman Porter, locking the main gates for the night at ten sharp. Photographed by Martin Usborne, granted a rare license and access since at the request of the sovereign the pomp and protocol has never been filmed,  visit Spitalfields Life for more on this ancient ritual, the repetition kept up without stint or remiss.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

1337 (10. 408)

A cache of behind-the-scenes Polaroid photographs from the 1995 crime thriller starring Angelina Jolie, Lorraine Bracco and Matthew Lillard film Hackers has been making the internet rounds again recently and is responsible for a whole range of nostalgia, like its debut that corresponded with the rise of the medium itself in the public consciousness and the manifesto of this new frontier authored a decade prior quoted at length: “This is our world now—the world of the electron and the switch… We exist without skin colour, without nationality, without religious bias and yet you call us criminals,” with the admission of guilt for the transgression of curiosity. These snapshots really capture a moment.  Much more at the link above.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

6x6 (10. 403)

picket lines: Sunak’s cabinet to implement anti-strike laws to enforce basic services during stoppages  

⭕️ ๐Ÿ’ฏ: draw a perfect circle   

camera obscura: the fantastic, “historical” photography apparatuses of Mathieu Stern

all maps at once: interesting and interactive cartographical overlays with the open-source viewing standard  

murphy desk: the flow wall workspace designed by Robert van Embricqs 

this is the sound of a gavel: a litany of concessions in exchange for the House Speakership

Saturday, 7 January 2023

cupoty (10. 391)

Courtesy of Kottke, we are enjoying perusing the top one hundred entries for the Close-Up Photographer of the Year competition. There were too many outstanding images to choose from but we especially appreciated those who took the time to consider the toadstool, up-close and intimate, like Barry Webb’s huddle of Cribraria, a type of slime mould. The contest for 2023 opens already in March so plenty of time to get tiny.

Thursday, 29 December 2022

7x7 (10. 368)

press pool: NPR station photographers swap memorable images from 2022    

opus cรฆmenticium: make concrete the Roman way—see also    

pre-bunking: intelligence agencies should engage in more public outreach to fight disinformation    

mallory gallery: top exhibitions of the year    

golden eye: reindeer retinas change colours with the seasons—via Nag on the Lake   

fido: dogs with human names—via Waxy     

mmxxii: year in review—news and journalists

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

schnappschรผsse vom krieg (10. 346)

Born this day in 1922 and still taking pictures, Michelantonio “Tony” Celestino Onofrio Vaccaro immigrated back to the US to avoid being conscripted in Italy and despite already having an impressive photographic portfolio just out of high school his first draft assignment as a photo-documentarian with the Army Signal Corps didn’t pan out and was instead assigned as a scout, fighting in Normandy, Luxembourg and Germany—though still affording opportunities to shoot images, evocative impressions of the front captured in 1944 and 1945. After being discharged, Vaccaro remained in Germany, contributing to the Army newspaper Stars & Stripes and recording life post-war in Frankfurt. Returning to America in the early 1950s, Vaccaro took assignments with Look, Life and Flair magazines as a society photographer, marrying a model for fashion house Marimekko, and after a decades’-long stint teaching at Cooper Union published a selection of his extensive wartime archive, under the imprint Entering Germany: Photographs 1944 – 1949. Click here for a gallery of Vaccaro’s diverse subjects.

Thursday, 8 December 2022

8x8 (10. 372)

low-poly: needlepoint designs based on vintage video games—see previously 

ghost mall: visiting a virtually abandoned yet very much open for business shopping centre in New Jersey 

zenosyne: from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (previously here and here)—that feeling that time is getting faster  

digichromatography: a survey of the seconds, the raw files, of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky’s documentation of the Russian Empire is a study in the development of colour photography—see also  

the pandoravirus: the melting Siberian permafrost is reviving long dormant but viable germs  

q-zone: a racing timeline of the most popular social media from 2003 to the present  

์‚ด: South Korea will abandon traditional age-reckoning in favour of an international recognised counting method beginning next year 

akka-arrh: Atari reprises a 1982 arcade game that was never released commercially as it proved too challenging for test-audiences

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

blue marble (10. 368)

Photographed by one of the crew, likely Harrison Schmitt or Gene Cernan but ever member took turns taking pictures with the Hasselblad camera, of the Apollo XVII mission on its way to the Moon from a distance of just under thirty thousand kilometers on this day in 1972. Backlit and slightly rounded—gibbous and hence the name—from the astronauts’ perspective and after Earthrise only the second whole planet image captured by a human photographer, the Blue Marble is among the most widely reproduced and circulated images in existence, it was received by the public at a moment of increased environmental activism and awareness and helped focus the movement by framing Earth’s uniqueness and vulnerability set against the endless expanse of space. Although recreated by satellite imagining, there have been no crewed excursions since that taken us high enough aloft—yet—to fit the entire planet in the view-finder.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

7x7 (10. 325)

99.9% of people will never get to experience what you will: NASA's social media guidelines for astronauts—via tmn  

cosmic christmas: an animated short from the studio of Nelvana, contracted to do interstitials for The Star Wars Holiday Special

the kiss: the first filmed act of intimacy by pioneer Eadweard Muybridge—see previously  

all systems go: Orion orbiter begins its loop around the Moon  

photobomb: finalists from the seventh annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards––previously—via the Everlasting Blรถrt  

before there was hope in the galaxy, there was andor: Rogue One prequel presented as a mid-70s television series—spoiler alerts—see previously 

edge of space: a maritime cosmodrome with a carbon neutral balloon for rides into the stratosphere—via tmn

Saturday, 12 November 2022

gemini xii (10. 296)

On the second day of the final crewed mission of the programme demonstrating that astronauts can work effectively outside spacecraft and making commencement of the Apollo project possible, on this day in 1966, during his first space walk (extravehicular activity—see also here and here), Edwin E “Buzz” Aldrin Junior snapped the first selfie in orbit––see also. This proof-of-concept training exercise included two additional excursions, a rendezvous and a docking (see above) and piloted an automated reentry sequence.

kelpie (10. 295)

Whilst not as iconic or famous as the so called “surgeon’s photograph” of the 1934 since exposed as an elaborate hoax, the first captured image allegedly showing the cryptid of Loch Ness (previously here and here) was snapped on this day by local Hugh Gray in 1933. Recounting himself he was walking his dog along the shore that morning, many interpret the blurry image as Gray’s Labrador fetching a stick from the water, or otherwise a swan or an otter rolling in a characteristic fashion at the water’s surface.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

eagle eye (10.240)

JWST released a fresh, incredibly detailed image of the Pillars of Creation (previously), columns of densehydrogen gas and dust in the stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula some sixty-five hundred light years away in the constellation Serpens. The resolution is so sharp thanks to the telescope’s infrared vision and able to filter through some of the errant particles of the clouds and peer into the new stars forming within. The astrophotography of JWST’s predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, taken in 1995 and 2004—see above, propelled the distant vista, likely formed in the wake of a shockwave of a super nova into the popular imagination and made the iconic image, surely long since eroded and dispersed, part of our shared culture.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

7x7 (10. 216)

negroni sbagliato: your guide to the new hot adult beverage  

naked eye: a gallery of some of the best images of microscopic photography from the past year 

aunt jess: a celebration of the life and career of Dame Angela Lansbury—see previously  

little big world: a tilt-shift tour of Mรผnchen and Oktoberfest

if pigs could fly: iconic Battersea Power Station reopens to the public as a luxury property development–via Things Magazine

mutual of omaha: superlative wildlife photography  

ss23: backless menswear suits seem to be here to stay

Sunday, 2 October 2022

8x8 (10. 187)

vendedores ambulantes: the sonic landscape and signature cries (see also) of the street vendors of Ciudad de Mรฉxico—via tmn  

from erdapfel to equator: a globemaker’s glossary of cartographic terms—via the Map Room  

queenhithe: photographer Frank Merton captures London’s churches in the mid-1950s  

anti-cyclone: a proposal to tow a barge laden with jet engines blasting to dissipate the strength of an oncoming hurricane  

hyla orientalis: black tree frogs in Chernobyl demonstrate evolution in real time—via Slashdot 

blogoversary: a belated congratulations to Diamond Geezer on twenty years of posting   

the feral atlas: a journey of discovery and triangulation through our made environments from Stanford University and via Web Curios  

tlaltecuhtli: the iconography of the Aztec pantheon

Sunday, 25 September 2022

♆ (10. 166)

Capturing the best images of that last known planet, king Neptune, before plunging into the endlessly, inky interstellar void that we’ve been witness to in the past three decades since Voyager 2’s 1989 fly-by, through the JWST we discover that there is a lot happening in this distant, icy constellation. Far distant from the shepherding satellites that keep the brilliant ring in place, the seemingly bright star is the rogue moon Triton, appearing so dazzling due to the highly reflective composition of its surface. Much more to explore at Bad Astronomy with Phil Platt at the link up top.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

down in the underground (10. 155)

Via Boing Boing, we are referred to a curator of one of our own, older obsessions—manhole covers in this site that has meticulous catalogued, though far from complete, these manifestations of the extensive infrastructure of suburbia, numbering over eight thousand examples from over five hundred cities all across the globe.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

6x6 (10. 151)

teenage rampage: 70s sing-a-long pop was edgier than one thought   

on tyranny: twenty lesson on unfreedom and defending democracy

heptominos: geometric magic squares from Lee Sallows—see also

cross-hatched: dozens of security envelope patterns  

quiet quitting: these scenes of office drudgery are a form of protest

rainbow quest: Pete Seeger’s 1960s folk music television show

Sunday, 18 September 2022

the followers (10. 147)

Via the morning news, we discover that artist Dries Depoorter has triangulated the open surveillance of public spaces and a respectable social media viewership with the help of artificial intelligence to match poses in front of a range of landmarks with their sidling up to it and perfecting their casual-seeming pose. Confounding this perfectly staged moment with the apparent necessity of monitoring share-worthy sites speaks volumes to our definition and expectation of privacy tempered by desire for curation and what it is like to be spotted, caught.

boardwalks, beaches and boulevards (10. 146)

Prominent and influential street photographer and educator, Harold Feinstein (1931 - 2015) had an enduring attraction to New York at the community of Coney Island where he was born. Thanks to a Redditor, we are introduced to Feinstein’s extensive portfolio through one composition that frames those perched above Brighton Beach as musical notation. Feinstein’s work also enjoyed commercial ubiquity, IKEA’s White Rose poster (see also) being one of the most widely distributed homeware artistic photos. Much more to explore at the links above.

 

earth below us (10. 144)

Launched just two weeks prior—and two weeks after its twin probe Voyager 2—Voyager I was able to look back and capture a composite image of the Earth and the Moon in the same frame on this day in 1977—see also here and here. The craft, though carrying payloads for the ages for some far flung intelligence to discover, were expected to only have active missions for a period of five years yet are still transmitting and even dispatching the occasional tweet over four decades later.